Wrench-wielding man shot by Costa Mesa police as officer-involved shooting cases pile up

Costa Mesa police reported an officer-involved shooting occurred Monday evening on the 1900 block of Newport Boulevard.
(Daily Pilot Staff)

Costa Mesa police have reported an attempt to interview an agitated suspect about a possible incident of elder abuse Monday evening resulted in an officer-involved shooting, after the suspect allegedly brandished and threw a large pipe wrench at one officer.

Police responded Monday shortly before 6:45 p.m. to a location on the 1900 block of Newport Boulevard, regarding ongoing elder abuse and a possible restraining order violation involving Theodore Liko Wilson, 26, of Costa Mesa, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

Officers had been called earlier that day to the location shared by Wilson and his 69-year-old grandmother to address a claim he had physically assaulted and falsely imprisoned her, according to the report.

Wilson, however, had left by the time police arrived on scene, so an emergency protective order was issued to prevent him from being at the location or having any contact with his grandmother. Wilson’s presence at the site later that day prompted the return of officers to the property.

When officers arrived, they found Wilson in an agitated state and armed with a pipe wrench, according to the release. Officers reported they asked Wilson several times to put the wrench down so they could speak with him, but they say he refused and instead raised it at officers.

One of the officers attempted to use a Taser on Wilson, but the implement had no effect on the man. He immediately fled to a patio area adjacent to the entrance of the location, according to the release.

When the officers followed him to that area, Wilson stopped and is alleged to have raised the wrench in a threatening manner. He then threw the wrench at one of the officers, which resulted in the officer-involved shooting, police reported.

Wilson sustained a single gunshot wound to the neck, and officers administered first aid until Costa Mesa Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene, according to the release. He was transported to a local hospital and on Tuesday was reported in stable condition.

The Costa Mesa man was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer, false imprisonment, elder abuse and vandalism.

The Orange County district attorney’s office is investigating the incident, at least the fourth officer-involved shooting to be reported by the Costa Mesa Police Department since Jan. 31.

The Jan. 31 shooting took place on the 600 block of Baker Street, where a man reportedly brandished a knife at officers responding to a report of trouble involving an adult male. Weeks later, during a Feb. 19 traffic stop, another man was fatally shot by police after he ran over a passenger who’d exited the vehicle in an attempt to flee the scene.

On March 11, officers shot a suspect allegedly robbing a business on the 2200 block of Fairview Drive who was found assaulting a cashier with a knife.

At the time of that incident, Orange County district attorney spokeswoman Kimberly Edds confirmed her office was reviewing a total of four such CMPD officer-involved shootings.

Anyone who may have additional information on Monday’s incident is encouraged to contact Det. Daniel Holl at (714) 754-4873 or

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